“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. ” – Pablo Picasso
Consider the rectangular (um really, trapezoidal) shape of your foot: There are two points at the base of the big toe and the base of the little toe and two at the inner and outer heel.
The most bio-mechanically advantageous thing to do with your four points in static positions (i.e. sitting or standing) is to balance them evenly. Sound familiar? Just like the toes themselves, the arch/foot structure benefits from balanced weight distribution.
So what’s the hold-up?… The base of the big toe! This point along the “first ray” (inner arch) is almost always bypassed or misrepresented in weight-bearing. You can tell if this is true for you by looking for a callus somewhere along the big toe itself OR check for one on the base of the pinky toe….. Doh, there they are! …. I’m sorry!
But it’s like Picasso said: we can practice and create ourselves masterfully. In sitting and standing, see if you can softly spread your toes (see last blog) then gently place the BASE of the big toe down on the ground or your shoe. Keep it there and spread the weight of your leg/body to the remaining 3 corners of your feet evenly. (Possibly you’ll now need to re-fluff your toes.)
You might sustain such (balanced pronation) bliss for, oh, 2 seconds or so at first (if you’re lucky!). And then your reflexive pattern will probably contort your inner arch back to how it’s used to being.
No worries! When you’re ready… find it again. And again. This little practice has big BIG rewards (decreased strain on the plantar fascia, reduction of bunions, better ankle stability, etc). I like to do it while I type blogs, drive cars, and stand at the sink to wash dishes. (Note: a simmering little ache in outer ankle muscles or inner ankle area is normal at first…. that is your body remodeling to the dimensions you seek.)
I have to admit: this one is much more difficult than the last blog. But the big toe root is foundational for your consciously-manifested core power! Re-fluff… and good luck!